Last week’s DEMO-Africa event saw the launch of Apps4Africa, an annual competition that brings app developers from all corners of the continent and which has won support from the US government.
In a pre-recorded video, Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, endorsed the app challenge as one that will see jobs created in Africa.
During a press briefing, Jon Gosier and Bahiya Yasmeen Robinson of Appfrica exuded enthusiasm for this year’s competition that will see finalists win US$3,000 to US$15,000 in addition to mentorships.
“There is a huge hunger for technology products across Africa,” Gosier said, “even in regions where they are not regarded as techies.”
The two said that this year there will be more brainstorming sessions across 15 countries in Sub Saharan Africa not only to have an online feel through the competition but to engage the developers in their different environments.
Previous winners of this competition include iCow from Kenya, FarmerLine from Ghana and MiniShop from Tanzania. The three got the rare chance to pitch at the DEMO-Africa conference in Nairobi.
Gosier said that the competition is more of an accelerator programme. This means that the money given is more of an investment but it depends on the company, if their need is more of an investment of a grant.
For the first two competitions, the organisers did not have much of a follow up plan on the outcome. This year, however, they will pay close attention to the finalists.
This year’s competition will have a target theme under building business solutions for the various markets.